“In fact, like the legendary Cincinnatus of ancient Rome or George Washington in the early history of the US, the statesman takes time out from a life of accomplishment to serve the general welfare of the people. He stands for a principled vision, not for what he thinks you’ll fall for. He is well-informed about the vicissitudes of human nature, the lessons of history, the role of ideas, and the economics of the marketplace. He is a truth-seeker, which means he is more likely to do what’s right than what may be politically popular at the moment. You know where he stands because he says what he means and means what he says. He elevates public discussion because he knows what he’s talking about. He does not engage in class warfare or in other divisive tactics that pull people apart. He even judge his success in office as much by how many laws he repealed, the number of development projects and manpower development he implemented for his people and nation at large. Senator Ike Ekweremadu is an embodiment of true statesman and a highly valued political icon, whose gigantic stride cum achievements and intellectual attainment remains a great source of pride”
One of the most admired qualities of true statesmen is their constructive and tactical focus on the future while maintaining a positive attitude; they’re more concerned with the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of the past. This way of thinking allows them to think long-term and disregard solutions that would only create instant gratification or bigger problems for their people. And that enables their transition to the world of statesmanship, where man’s action and inaction can no more derail the gains of their many achievements, because they will always listen to their inner dialogue. Sincerely speaking, Senator Prof. Ike Ekweremadu is not just a colossus and veteran political strategist, he is a celebrated icon and a valued asset not just for the good people of Enugu State but also to the entire Igbo land and Nigeria at large.
Just as with Plutarch’s subjects, none of these individuals who attained this height in life were without trial and difficulty, they faced stiff resistance from the opposing actors and grave betrayal from their trusted allies, some more than others. But I take solace with the understanding that those inevitable challenges helped form their perspectives of the world. It’s these challenges and their ability to adapt and overcome that facilitated their ability to be great leaders which transform them into true statesmen. Thank you, His Excellency Prof. Ike Ekweremadu. I salute your courage and take a bow and duff my cap for your emotional intelligence, which differentiate you as a good manager of the people. We respect your decision to withdraw from the Governorship race. We understand and know you must have seen what we don’t know. You must have weighed it very well with special interest in the peace, development and stability of the state. That high emotional intelligence and ability to know when to continue and when to stop will continue to set you aside from other leaders..
As I head to Kampala to deliver a speech at the Africa Thinkers Union, I pledge my undiluted loyalty to the cause you believe in, because you have earned my respect the most, though it is hard to bear with but I see reasons. This is a battle we fought together, you offered us free hands to operate with strict adherence to democratic principles and norms, truly that singular act encouraged everyone to put in his or her best. You made the movement fun, no acrimony, no bitterness. Sir, it’s on this note that I want you to Know that I will continue to preach and work for a robust and Intellectual political engagement in Africa, even as my speech in Kampala will be dedicated to the recent political realities in my home country titled Reinventing Intellectual Political Contest And Politics of Ideology: The Roadmap to Statesmanship And The Chances of African Renaissance. In the said presentation, I will try to challenge the widespread, even dominant, view of politics as nothing but a vehicle for raw power and domination. Such false realism obfuscates both the very real quest for justice and development but also those admirable examplars of greatness of soul, tempered by moderation, that are very much part of political reality, too. Against the culture of repudiation, I will aim to recover the understanding of statesmanship as honorable ambition and one of the highest expressions of human excellence.
Finally, as we chat about a new cause, a cause for the common good of all and as an ambitious statesman who wants the best for his people, your understanding that there are things you simply will and will not do to get to power is highly commendable and worthy of emulation. No doubt Senator Ike Ekweremadu remains the only living political leader in this part of the world who built his platform ‘Oganiru’ on a foundation of firm, unchanging, fundamental truths that he believes in. His very core comprises his overarching political philosophy, politics of development. In the face of changing times, betrayal, opposition and challenges, this structure Oganiru has remained firm and will continue to remain intact. Thank you his Excellency Prof. Ike Ekweremadu for being the leader of the most brilliant and successful leaders.
Martins Chiedozie Ugwu
Former International President, All African Students For Peace And Development.